Iowa woman swallows tapeworm to lose weight

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2003: Scolex and immature proglottids of Tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis), Platyhelminthes flatworm, seen with counterstaining. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 2003: Scolex and immature proglottids of Tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis), Platyhelminthes flatworm, seen with counterstaining. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

This is one fad diet you don’t want to try.

An Iowa woman desperate to shed a few pounds admitted that she ordered a live tapeworm off the internet and swallowed it, The Des Moines Register reported.

The woman’s doctor contacted the Iowa Department of Public Health to find out what she should do for her patient.

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the medical director at the department, told the physician to give the woman an anti-worm medication. Following the incident, Quinlisk warned against the so-called “tapeworm diet” in a weekly email to state public health workers.

“Ingesting tapeworms is extremely risky and can cause a wide range of undesirable side effects, including rare deaths,” she wrote. “Those desiring to lose weight are advised to stick with proven weight loss methods — consuming fewer calories and increasing physical activity.”

Tapeworms are parasites that can live and grow in human intestines, feeding off of partially-digested food. They can be accidentally ingested in raw or undercooked meat, but some websites have apparently been offering them up for sale as a weight-loss tool.

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms of a tapeworm infection include “abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and upset stomach.

The tapeworm diet isn’t new. It was advertised in the early 1900s, and more recently, it was a topic on a 2009 episode of the “Tyra Banks Show” during which Banks interviewed women who said they were willing to swallow a tapeworm to lose weight.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.